MIND DE-CODER 29
“…i might say no,no,no but do it again”
THE CHRISTIAN ASTRONAUTS PREPARE TO FIRE
Taken from the album BEYOND THE BLUE, a home-made album by the Shoup family in 1971 – it’s my favourite Christian kiddie record ever, featuring all members of the Shoup family and a seven foot cardboard robot called Loosenut. Join them as they travel through space in search of the Lord Jesus and his heavenly resting place. Or not.
BEYOND THE WIZARD’S SLEEVE SPACE
The introductory track from the album WEST released in 2008. It gets your head sorted right for what is to follow.
PINK FLOYD ASTRONOMY DOMINE
Pink Floyd and the opening track to PIPER AT THE GATES OF DAWN, released in 1967 and to my mind, at least, their greatest album (but, this being Mind De-Coder, I would). This particular recording is taken from the original mono recording that’s been unavailable for some years now, but was recently re-released as part of the 3-CD set they released recently to commemorate the 40th anniversary of the album. Psychedelia doesn’t get much better than this.
ASH RA TEMPLE SUCHE AND LIEBE
The great Ash Ra Temple, so great in fact, I thought I’d play the whole 19 minutes and 23 seconds of this beautiful track and let its loveliness radiate out from the speakers and fill your whole body with love and light (and then add a short documentary concerning the British army testing acid on its soldiers to comedy effect). Suche & Liebe (‘Seeking and Love’) is taken from the album SCWINGUNGEN, which I believe translates as ‘vibrations’, released in 1972. The band are normally noted for their mind-bending, soul-enhancing wig outs, but on this track they are on a trip to find God with a great eternal chord sequence that the band themselves believed was the sound of heaven. Hopefully they didn’t find Captain Shoup and family waiting for them there.
APRIL STEVENS DO IT AGAIN (excerpt)
April Stevens sings this unbelievably sexy excerpt of Do It Again on the album TEACH ME, TIGER!, released in 1960, but, if I’ve done my job properly, it sounds like it’s coming from another planet.
THE WHITE NOISE LOVE WITHOUT SOUND
The White Noise sounded like they were making music from other planets, too. No small wonder – the band was formed by American born David Vorhaus, a classical bass player with a background in both physics and electronic engineering, and consisted of two members of the BBC’s Radiophonic Workshop. Delia Derbyshire, who wrote Love Without Sound, was also responsible for the Dr. Who theme, so that kind of puts everything in perspective. This track is taken from their first album, AN ELECTRIC STORM, released in 1969. It’s an insane album of strange sounds and noises that apparently took ages to create in the days without synthesisers – one of those seminal albums that went on to inspire The Orb and Julian Cope. It has some pretty noises on it, but also some plainly terrifying ones as well – you’d only want to play side one if you were tripping, say. Love Without Sound is side 1, track 1; can’t go wrong with that.
MAGNET GENTLY JOHNNY
From the soundtrack to THE WICKER MAN, recently re-released in 2002. One of the sexiest songs I’ve ever heard.
A beautiful little piece from criminally overlooked Australian band, Extradition, whose only album, HUSH, released in 1971, transcends all its acid-folk influences – a female singer with a lush unearthly voice, male singers that don’t make you wish they wouldn’t; long hair; beards; songs that romanticize the Ice Age and the phases of the sun and moon, the elements, the seasons, sticks, stones , gongs and chimes – and become a thing of wonder in itself.
THE VIRGINEERS SUN
Mind-bending sugar-coated fun from The Virgineers with this spot-on psychedelic gem from their only album, 1999’s self-titled THE VIRGINEERS.
J.K. &Co FLY
This magical track from the little known album SUDDENLY ONE SUMMER by the semi-legendary J.K. and Co. was put together by the almost unbelievably precocious 15 year-old Jay Kaye who, in 1968, assembled a band of session musicians, hired a producer and an arranger and got them to record an album of songs he’d written about the cycle of life and death – a concept album, no less. Amazingly, it’s very good; full of psychedelic flourishes, groovy horns, power pop, acid rock sitar inspired wig-outs and tracks like Fly, which wraps the listener up in warm pulsating feedback waves and what might possibly be a marimba.
PETER WYNGARDE JENNY KISSED ME
Possibly the weirdest record I own is by Peter Wyngarde, and it’s called WHEN SEX LEERS ITS INQUISITIVE HEAD, originally released in 1970 and then withdrawn almost immediately due to the fact that nobody knew what to make of it. Since then it has become an album steeped in myth and mystery (don’t you just love albums steeped in myth and mystery?). Peter Wyngarde, of course, played Jason King, part TV sleuth, and part hirsute shag-monster for ITC’s Department S show in 1968. For a time, Wyngarde was the world’s number one pin-up, so when he was approached to make an album to cash-in on his popularity, the record company was expecting a set of contemporary standards in the manner of Tony Christie singing ‘Avenues and Alleyways’. What they got instead was an album of unbridled, rampant male sexuality couched in an aesthetic abandon that set off alarm bells even in those permissive times. No one was prepared for the song Rape, in which he explores the possible virtues of rape in several different languages like it was something you might actually want to try out every now and then, or was unlikely to forget ‘Hippie and the Skinhead’, in which Wyngarde reads out a letter to ‘The Times’ by two Home Counties skinhead girls, or the tale of ‘Billy the Queer, Pilly Sexy Hippy’ delivered as the worlds first rap record over a Nashville honky tonk musical styling. Bizarre doesn’t quite cover it. Amidst all this outrageousness, however, you will also find ‘Jenny Kissed Me’, which always makes me wish that she’d kissed me too. The album is now available on CD after being unavailable for the best part of 30 years. Marvellous.
THE SHORTWAVE SET SUN MACHINE
Taken from last years album REPLICA SUN MACHINE, by South London’s junk shop enthusia
sts The Shortwave Set. I do believe that is the sound of the hitherto unknown psychedelic banjo I hear being plucked. Possibly my favourite track on tonight’s show.
JULIAN COPE S.T.A.R.C.A.R.
The mighty Julian Cope in epic form on this psyche-folk freak-out taken from his 1994 eco-warrior manifesto of an album, AUTOGEDDON, in which he rails against car culture and the horrors of urban living. Not everyone’s favourite Cope album, but definitely the one on which he has attitude in his latitude and longing in his longitude.
SIX ORGANS OF ADMITTANCE PROCESSION OF CHERRY BLOSSOM SPIRITS
This track is taken from the album SCHOOL OF THE FLOWER, released in 2001, a true head-trip of a record that creates vivid psychedelic folk soundscapes that are both beautiful and ominous. Six Organs Of Admittance is the work of Ben Chesney, and this is his seventh album, released in 2001, and it is rainswept, broken and lovely. Allow yourself to float away.
PG SIX GO YOUR WAY
Go your way was originally recorded by Anne Briggs, who has appeared on a couple of Mind De-Coder’s herself. This version is by Pat Gubler, from his first full-length solo release as PG Six, released on the album PARLOR TRICKS AND PORCH FAVOURITES, also released in 2001. It is an album of sublime simplicity, unashamedly folk, but blended with a lo-fi pop sensibility. He also uses the harp. More people should use the harp.
THE STEVE MILLER BAND THE BEAUTY OF TIME IS THAT IT IS SNOWING
I know – The Steve Miller Band ! – but in 1968 The Steve Miller Band were a west coast psychedelic-blues band who recorded their first album, CHILDREN OF THE FUTURE, in England. The Beauty Of Time…just sort of wraps you up in the lo-fi ebb and flow of its hazy organ playing loveliness, don’t you think. No one bought it, of course, and the band retreated to a rather more commercial sound that somehow resulted in The Joker some five years later.
CRAZY ELEPHANT SPACE BUGGY
If you’ve heard of Crazy Elephant at all, it’s because of their 1968 bubblegum hit Gimme Gimme Good Loving and possibly There Ain’t No Umbopo. Space Buggy is the B-side to the rather less well known There’s a Better Day A-Comin’, released in 1969, which failed to chart. The band was essentially a studio concoction, created by the record label Super K Productions to cash in on the craze for bubblegum music, though strangely enough they were supposedly promoted as allegedly being a group of Welsh coal miners.
THE END JACOB’S BLADDER
The End were sadly ignored in mid-60’s despite touring with The Rolling Stones and being managed by Bill Wyman. They seem to be having a good time on this little filler, though, taken from their only album INTROSPECTION, released in 1969, in which they seem to be having a right old laugh with somebody’s granddad.
THE STONE ROSES WATERFALL/DON’T STOP
I couldn’t resist it. Their debut album meant so much to me at the time that I thought all my Christmases had come at once when I first played it, so I’m including this for anyone who may have more or less felt the same way, Clare.
MOON WIRING CLUB A GUIDED TOUR
Ian Hodgson with another spooky Hauntological offering from 2009’s STRIPED PAINT FOR THE LAST POST.
THE PILLBUGS NORTH OF REALITY
I’m surprised that I don’t play more of The Pillbugs – their goofy beach buggy take on psychedelia puts me in mind of The Banana Splits and The Monkees and is otherwise right up my street. North Of Reality is from the band’s final and posthumous album EVERYBODY WANTS A WAY OUT, released 2008, following the death of band founder and bassist Mark Kelley.
BROADCAST AND THE FOCUS GROUP ALL MUST WAKE
Warped going’s on from this collaboration between The Focus Group and Broadcast released as the album BROADCAST AND THE FOCUS GROUP INVESTIGATE WITCH CULTS OF THE RADIO AGE, released in 2009. It’s an album rooted in jazz, 1960’s BBC interludes, Czech horror films and pulpy science-fiction literature that combines to create little pockets of non-sense – fans of the show will know I go crazy for this sort of stuff.
DAVID BOWIE LADY GRINNING SOUL
Hardly psychedelic at all yet Lady Grinning Soul from Bowie’s 1972 ALADDIN SANE always takes me somewhere I like to go. It has a faux-James Bond flamenco feel to it that’s just so late night and sexy, and reminds me of someone who I haven’t seen for too long. It’s one of those sorts of songs.
I thank you.